It's Monday, what are you reading?

We are home from our 4th of July vacation in Northern Michigan, and I can't wait to share with you the books I read, and the few I'm still finishing.  Those of you who know me, know how much I LOVE to read.  Always have.  My mom had to limit me to 7 library books a week when I was a kid.  LOL  I'm such a nerd! So, I'm linking up with teachmentortexts and unleashingreaders to share my recent reading list.  

1.  The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo - I'm a fan of all Kate's books, so I had to indulge in the Magician's Elephant.  I'm usually not a fantasy reader, but many of her books (this one included) are so imaginitive and sweet that you can't help falling in love with the characters.  This fantasy has a historical fiction setting and I do love historical fiction so double bonus.  Little orphan Peter, is told by a fortune teller that his questions will be answered by an elephant.  Both Peter and the elephant are set free in this book as they believe in magic and dreams come true.

2.  Son by Lois Lowry - Son is the fourth installment of The Giver series.  I love dystopian science fiction stories and this one did not disappoint.  Son returns to the Village of the Giver and tells a parallel story to Jonah's from the perspective of Gabe's birthmother Claire.  Many of the characters from all four books are brought together in this conclusion novel and you are left with a feeling of greatfulness for the freedoms of our world and a desire to be thankful for what we have.  Great challenging read for upper elementary students, best suited for middle and high school students.

3.  Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper - The Common Core wants students to examine perspective. Wow, this book is told from the perspective of a fifth grade girl with cerebral palsy. Melody can't walk or talk.  She can't talk! Imagine living life without the ability to communicate with others.  This book would be a great companion novel to Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  In Wonder students are introduced to August, a fifth grader born with a facial deformity.  I'm envisioning lots of opportunities to compare/contrast August and Melody and their perspectives on living life with a disability.

4.  Lastly, I'm still finishing up Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle and Math Exhanges by Kassia Omohundro Wedekind.  If you love Glee, Smash, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Nashville, etc. like I do, and you wanted to run off to New York City to be a famous Rockette (oh wait, that was my childhood dream LOL) ,than Better Nate is for you!  I'm only a fourth of the way through, but it's dripping with Broadway lingo and I'm in love.

Math Exchanges is a teacher textbook that focuses on guiding young mathematicians in small group meetings.  Math Workshop in my classroom is constantly evolving so this book was a must read on my summer reading list.  I'll keep you posted!

What are you reading?  My summer stack is starting to dwindle, I need more titles!!!


  1. Out of my Mind and Wonder have both been big hits at our school ... which makes me so grateful. :)

    1. Yay! Grateful indeed. I'm hoping for the same response this year in my classroom.


  2. Out of My Mind is one of my faves! Did you know it is one of the Global Read Aloud choices?

    1. I did not. Even more of a reason to add it to my read aloud pile. Thanks!

  3. I LOVED The Magician's Elephant. Wasn't it gorgeous! I am so glad you loved it too. :)

    Ricki (

  4. So glad I stumbled upon your blog! I'm also a fifth grade teacher! We did a reading workshop character study this year and used Rules by Cynthia Lord as our touchstone text. Then Out of Mind, Wonder, So B. It, Dear Mr. Henshaw (low), and Touch Blue were all book club options. The students LOVED the book clubs and the books! I had students reading multiple books because because they loved the unit so much!

    I would definitely agree that Wonder & Out of my Mind are fantastic reads!!

    My Shoe String Life

  5. Hello Melissa I am also a fifth grade teacher. I used to work with reading and writing workshop when I taught 1st grade 6 years ago in Florida. Unfortunately, I suffered a brain aneurysm 3 years ago and just remember vaguely reading about it in some resource books written by Lucy Calkins. This Thursday I begin the 2015-16 school year with a two day trainning on Career and College Ready Standards and would like to incorporate reading and writing workshop into our 5th grade Reading Streets Curriculum. Can you recommend some reaearched based sources that I can follow on a daily basis this year on how to incorporate these workshops with Reading Streets and 21st Century Skills (Common Core and College and Career Ready Standards).


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